Certain medical supplies have been around for a long period of time. Take male external catheters for example. For over 3500 years, these urinary catheters have been used to drain the bladders of patients who can?t do it themselves. Now, some people might think it difficult to keep these items clean and sanitary, but once you get the hang of it, it?s a pretty easy routine. If you?re facing the possibility of obtaining an external male urinary catheter and are unsure what to think, read on to give yourself a peace of mind about the whole process.
As far as medical supplies go, it?s been estimated that, in 2008, the market for urinary catheters, pads and other similar devices was at about $1.8 billion per year. They?re used as a solution for a myriad of medical issues and are usually prescribed directly by the doctor.
One example is PBS/IC, or painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis. There are two treatments for this disease. One is an oral medication and the other is a bladder instillation that?s administered through a catheter. By attaching the catheter directly to the bladder, medical professionals are able to feed the medication directly into the infected area.
Another instance where drain bags and urinary catheters are used is if the patient is having trouble emptying their own bladder. This is a common occurrence among older individuals. In fact, it?s been reported that urinary incontinence is 14% more likely for ages 65 to 69 years and 45% more likely for those over 85 years. If this is a new experience for you, don?t stress about it too much. We?ve compiled a short list of steps to take in order to keep your urinary catheter clean:
- Empty When Half Full: The usual rule of thumb is to empty the external male urinary catheter whenever it?s half full. If it doesn?t quickly fill up, then make sure to empty it at least twice per day. This will prevent unnecessary spills and will ensure your comfort throughout the day.
- Drain Bags At Night: When it comes time to sleep for the night, make sure you take the time to change out your leg bag for the urinary drain bags provided to you by the doctor. Rinse out the leg bag with one part vinegar and three part water, letting it soak for about 20 minutes. Make sure it?s completely washed out and hang it up to dry while you sleep.
- Replace It Regularly: Check with your doctor on this step, but as with any type of device that involves leg bag extension tubing, you?ll need to get it replaced on a regular basis. Cleaning it each day will help to retain its quality and replace it with a new bag twice a month or at least once a week.
Do you work with medical supplies and have any additional care tips for catheters? Share in the comments below!